MADRID – Rafael Nadal suffered his first clay-court defeat in almost a year when the world number one was shocked 7-5, 6-3 by Austria's Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Open quarter-finals on Friday.
Defending champion Nadal, who came into the tournament having won his 11th titles at Monte Carlo and at Barcelona, also saw his record 50-set winning streak on clay ended by the fifth-seeded Thiem.
Thiem had been the last player to defeat Nadal on clay at the Italian Open in Rome almost 12 months ago.
The streak is over! @ThiemDomi shocks Rafael Nadal, ending the World No. 1's 21-match winning streak on clay, advancing to the semi-finals @MutuaMadridOpen.
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The shock result also means that Roger Federer will reclaim the world number one ranking on Monday.